Danger lurks everywhere but some areas are more prone to danger and violence than elsewhere. Even though Ibadan is a relatively peaceful city, there have been numerous cases of crimes (you can read them here) but a very good example of dastard crimes being perpetrated in the city was the popular Soka Saga where human beings were kidnapped and their body parts sold. Read the full story here.
When cases like the Soka Saga happens, there would initial gra gra and the level of awareness would be astronomically high. Few months later however, everyone would relax and the criminals would strike again. This is why I’ve decided to share these 5 areas in Ibadan that have become notorious for criminal act. The aim of this piece is not to undermine the activities of anybody, it is just to make everyone know that we should become proactive and take the issue of security more seriously.
Moslem Bus Stop along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
For about a decade that I’ve been visiting this area, I’ve always been warned against walking in the area at night. About 2 years ago, I had no choice than to walk there at night and it was one of the very scary moments of my life.
Individuals with blood-red eyes were just looking at me and closely assessing me. I was lucky they didn’t decide to jump on me. But not everyone had been that lucky. People are regularly robbed in this area, kidnappings are frequently reported and on a number of occasions, bodies have been deposited with several parts missing. So, be very careful under the bridge and around the area.
Mufu Lanihun Bus Stop
This is also along Lagos-Ibadan expressway. About 3 days ago, someone told me a very sad case of robbery, decapitation and murder. I’ve also heard of corpse being deposited in the area.
Schools in general
As much as possible, avoid schools at night, this advise may sound odd but there are lots of schools in Ibadan that are not fenced and people usually walk across them – either as shortcuts or as main routes. There are several of them including Okebadan High School, Lagelu Grammar School and several others. Hoodlums usually hide in the classrooms to smoke hemp and rob individuals. They can also rape ladies of all ages.
Considering the deplorable of several schools in the city, it is impossible to ensure that all doors and gates are shut since many of these institutions don’t have doors and gates. Furthermore, the night guards are usually frail old men who are not strong or armed enough to combat criminals. With these at the back of our minds, it is obvious that as many schools are educating during the day, they are hideouts for criminals at night.
Bushy paths and uncompleted buildings
For many residents of the city, it is inevitable for them to walk along bushy paths daily. There are lots of stories about people, especially children, getting kidnapped along these paths. The sensible solution to this is for residents of the affected areas come together to cut down the bushes but it is rather unfortunate to note that even though they are aware of the dangers posed by the bushes, residents in some highly notorious areas are often reluctant to pool resources and energy together to clear the area and make it unsafe for criminals.
The story is the same for uncompleted buildings as they are regularly used as operation centers for criminals. Soka Kidnappers’ Den is a good example of abandoned building-turned-crime-headquarters.
Motor Parks popularly called garages
Even though the heads of the various unions are striving to make their parks safe, as long as hemp and alcoholic drinks are sold in the parks, the risk would always be high. Lots of dangerous guys are sleeping at motor parks which make them hideouts. Even in regions where the parks are not inhabitable, the gathering of 2 or more hefty guys with scary outlooks and cracked voice would always be a recipe for danger. People are regularly robbed at motor parks within and outside Ibadan and extra caution should be taken.
Never Walk Alone is a golden rule as far as security is concerned. Don’t underestimate anything as long as you cannot stop a flying bullet and your skin is not resistant to knives and other weapons, walk with as many people as you can.
Someone once told me that security is a matter of numbers and who has superior weapons. It would be easier to attack a lone walker than a team of three.
Wear comfortable shoes. Make sure what you are wearing will not hinder you from running. As long as you smell danger, don’t be a big boy or gentle lady. Run like hell and be screaming at the top of your voice.
Even though they are criminals, they are human beings like you. They could also be afraid.
But most importantly, ensure you don’t walk around the city at late hours. About 80% of cases of crime that I’ve heard in the above-listed areas were at night. Which means if you strive not to walk in the night, you are already protected against 80% of dangers. If you can’t leave where you are early enough, make sure you can sleep at a safe place nearby and go home the following day.
Life is so precious, do everything within your power to live safely. Ibadan is not a crime-prone state but we have criminals among us. So be conscious and cautious at the same time. Keep your ears to the ground and don’t take unnecessary risks.